What’s the purpose of teaching your baby Math? I’m sure this sounds like kiasuism at it’s max. Why on earth would you teach a baby Math? Surely they have plenty of time to learn this when they are older…
According to Doman, babies have the ability to recognise quantities without counting. It is easier for a baby to learn the rules of Math and if they are given the opportunity in the right environment, they will. As they grow older, they begin to lose this ability. Doman and Shichida both believe it is easier for your child to learn Math when he is a baby than when he is of school going age.
As your child goes through school, he will eventually have to learn Math. He also needs basic Math for everyday life when he grows older. The fact is, Math is one of those subjects that he cannot escape. Since he needs to learn it, doesn’t it make more sense to teach it to him when it is easiest for him to learn it and at a time when he wants to learn it rather than wait until he’s older and hates having to learn Math?
So if you’re going to teach your baby Math, Doman recommends using the red dot card method. Expanding on the red dot card method, Shichida came up with the 65 Day method. Then BrillKids came up with Little Math, which is a computer program that takes Doman’s Math program yet another step further.
I’ve used the Doman red dot card method as well as Little Math and these are the pros and cons of both programs:
- Face to face – parent and child are face to face when you use the flashcards.
- Parent’s voice provides extra bonding rather than listening to a recorded voice.
- Fiddly – handling the cards can be cumbersome, especially when your baby grows older and starts to get more mobile.
- Older babies may grab at the cards and want to play with them.
- Need to arrange the cards in readiness for the next session.
- Full year program pre-loaded. No lesson planning required before hand – unless you specifically want to teach your child something unique. You can run each lesson with the click of a button – no further preparation required.
- Flashcards are shown at random each time, so no shuffling required.
- There is more variety to the objects shown. Instead of representing quantities with red dots, you can have apples, planets, a baby’s face, etc. Different lessons show the quantities randomly scattered and ordered in different arrangements (e.g. in a grid). Although Doman believes this isn’t necessary, Shichida encourages it.
- Program records where you are up to so you know what you have taught even if you take a break from the program.
- Easily customised – if you want to make it more personal, you can use a picture of your baby’s face, or members of the family as the individual objects. I used Thomas characters for my older son and Mickey characters for my younger son. You can use your own voice recording if you don’t want some random voice saying the numbers.
- When your baby grows older and begins to be distracted easily by other objects, you can dim the lights to help your child focus on the flashcards.
- You can hold your baby while showing him the flashcards (you can even nurse him, if he’s still breastfeeding!) and this is very hard to do with physical flashcards.
- The basic Math program costs US$159 which is cheaper than the RM1000++ I paid for the Doman math kit. If you purchase the Doman math kit from Gentle Revolution, it costs US$59.95 for the basic program (before shipping). I don’t know how much shipping charges are but it will be costly because the cards are very heavy.
- Run on the computer so no face-to-face element.
For a comparison of the Doman reading program versus Little Reader, read my article: “How to Teach Your Baby to Read – Glenn Doman versus Little Reader“.